How-To: Make a fighting quarterstaff (that won’t kill anyone)

Geek Culture


[Guest blogger Kevin Karplus sent in the following. Like it? Ask for more in the comments!  -ca]

For the last two weeks, my son has been at a theater class, working on a production of Robin Hood. He had the part of Friar Tuck and had to do a quarterstaff fight with Robin Hood. They had originally planned to use broomsticks for the quarterstaves, which make a nice sound but are a bit dangerous for kids to swing at each other. I volunteered to make them safer quarterstaves and help them choreograph a more vigorous fight scene.

I made each quarterstaff from five feet of 1/2" PVC
pipe and 5’6" of foam pipe insulation from the hardware store. Since the foam insulation was really for 3/4" pipe, I had to wrap the ends of the foam with electrical tape to keep the pipes from sliding around in the foam tubes. I then spray-painted the foam with a plastic spray paint. The spray paint did not last long, but the cracking paint did make the staves look a little more wooden from a distance.

The play performances Friday and Saturday went well, and the quarterstaff fight choreography that the boys worked out with me went off well.

One can make a similar staff with a more colorful look by using a $2 swimming-pool "noodle" and sticking a 1/2"
PVC pipe in the center. Using a little dish soap as a lubricant can make it easier to slide in the pipe. Make sure that the last 3" of the foam do not have any pipe in them, and don’t hit people in the face with the staff.

There is a whole subculture devoted to "boffer"
weapons made of foam.

For instructions on making weapons, check out:

For boffer combat opportunities and more information on making boffers, try:

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